Melanie Stidolph : ‘The Fall’
14 January 2013 . Written by João Bento
Melanie Stidolph’s ‘The Fall’ was first exhibited in November 2012 at the Campbell Works gallery in London. Fauna & Flora had the privilege to be present at the private view and we really enjoyed the work on display. There was a darkroom where images of apples falling from trees were being projected onto the wall. We had seen one of these images before but we didn’t know, until Melanie explained to us, that the apples had been dropped for the camera… and that is fine, because the images’ readability doesn’t depend on capturing some kind of truth about the moment when apples fall from branches. In fact, knowing that the apple photos had been set up and made with the help of a motion trigger device helped us unpack and understand the rest of the photos in the show. Each photo resulted from a similar act of experimentation where objects (including apples!) were thrown in front of the camera. Confronted with the apple photos, maybe most people would think about the story of Sir Isaac Newton that led him to define The Universal Law of Gravity. The photos with the flying darts made us think about Man’s general ambition to fly and the photos with the eggs could eventually make us think about the origins of species… Maybe that is thinking too much and this wasn’t even remotely the photographer’s ambition, but the photos are indeed very good at making us feel the tensions created by the object-camera experiments. We can imagine Melanie having fun developing this project, curious about the response in articulation between gesture, object, trigger device and camera. Similar kinds of experiments and curiosity were behind the invention of photography and, in this way, Melanie Stidolph created ‘The Fall’.
The exhibition was accompanied by a publication on Melanie Stidolph’s work. The publication is available to be consulted in our library: www.faunaandflora.org/library/
Please visit Melanie Stidolph’s personal website, it has many great works to see!: melaniestidolph.com